Last Updated: May 9, 2024
Richest Celebrities
Net Worth:
$170 Million
Sep 25, 1929 - Dec 30, 2022 (93 years old)
5 ft 4 in (1.65 m)
Journalist, Television producer, Author, Presenter, Screenwriter, Actor, Talk show host
United States of America
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What was Barbara Walters' Net Worth and Salary?

Barbara Walters was an American broadcast journalist, author, and television personality who had a net worth of $170 million at the time of her death. Barbara Walters died on December 30, 2022, at the age of 93. During her multi-decade career, Walters hosted several television shows, including "20/20," "The View" (which she also created and produced), and the "ABC Evening News." Walters began her career as a writer and researcher for "The Today Show" in 1961 and became the show's co-host in 1974. She was the first woman to co-host an American news program, and in 1976, she became the first woman to co-anchor a network evening news program. Barbara is also known for her annual "Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People" special and has published two books, "How to Talk with Practically Anybody about Practically Anything" (1970) and "Audition: A Memoir" (2008).

Early Life

Barbara Walters was born Barbara Jill Walters on September 25, 1929, in Boston, Massachusetts. Her parents, Dena and Louis, were both Jewish, and Lou managed a Boston nightclub called the Latin Quarter before opening a chain of nightclubs in 1937. Lou was also a Broadway producer and Entertainment Director for Las Vegas' Tropicana Resort and Casino, so Barbara spent time around celebrities during her youth. Walters grew up with an older sister, Jacqueline, who was mentally disabled and passed away from ovarian cancer in 1985. She also had a brother, Burton, who died of pneumonia in 1932 when Barbara was very young.

The family moved a few times. Barbara studied at Lawrence School in Brookline, Massachusetts, Ethical Culture Fieldston School and Birch Wathen School in New York City, and Miami Beach High School (where she received her diploma in 1947) in Florida. She then attended Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, New York, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1951. Walters spent a year working for a small advertising agency before landing a job at NBC affiliate WNBT-TV, where her duties included writing press releases and producing a children's program called "Ask the Camera." After leaving WNBT-TV, she produced the Eloise McElhone Show on WPIX until its cancellation in 1954, then went on to write for "The Morning Show" on CBS the following year.


In 1961, Walters joined NBC's "The Today Show," starting out as a writer and researcher, then covering lighter-fare stories and the weather as the show's "Today Girl." She soon became a reporter-at-large and got to develop, write, and edit her own interviews and reports. After host Frank McGee died in 1974, Barbara officially became the first female co-host of "The Today Show." From 1971 to 1976, she also hosted "Not for Women Only," which aired after "The Today Show" on a local NBC affiliate. Walters co-anchored the "ABC Evening News" from 1976 to 1978 and has said that co-anchor Harry Reasoner visibly displayed his disdain for her on air. In 1979, Barbara joined ABC's "20/20," reuniting with Hugh Downs, who she had worked with on "The Today Show." She became Downs' co-anchor in 1984 and remained on the show until her retirement in 2004.

Walters also created the daytime talk show "The View," which premiered in August 1997. During the first few seasons, Barbara co-hosted the show with Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Debbie Matenopoulos, and Joy Behar. The show has had many co-hosts, including Lisa Ling, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Rosie O'Donnell, Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd, and Jenny McCarthy. "The View" won the Daytime Emmy for Best Talk Show in 2003, and Walters, Behar, Goldberg, Hasselbeck, and Shepherd shared the award for Best Talk Show Host in 2009. Barbara retired from the show on May 15, 2014, but occasionally returned as a guest host through 2015.

Walters has interviewed many world leaders during her career, including Anwar Al Sadat, Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin, Margaret Thatcher, Fidel Castro, and several U.S. presidents. She is also known for her interviews with popular entertainers like Michael Jackson, Katharine Hepburn, and Sir Laurence Olivier, and her 1999 interview with Monica Lewinsky drew 74 million viewers, making it the second most-watched interview of all time. Since her retirement, Barbara has interviewed Donald and Melania Trump, Mary Kay Letourneau, and Peter Rodger (whose son killed six people and injured 14 others in Isla Vista, California, in 2014) and hosted "American Scandals" on Investigation Discovery (2015) as well as her "10 Most Fascinating People" specials in 2014 and 2015.

(Photo by Clarence Elie-Rivera/Getty Images)

Personal Life

Barbara married business executive Robert Henry Katz on June 20, 1955, and the union was annulled in 1957 after 11 months of marriage. She married theatrical producer Lee Guber on December 8, 1963, and they divorced in 1976; they adopted daughter Jacqueline together in 1968. Walters was married to Lorimar Television CEO Merv Adelson from 1981 to 1984 and 1986 to 1992. In college, she dated lawyer Roy Cohn. In the 1970s, Barbara had a relationship with Alan Greenspan (who would become U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman in 1987), and she dated Senator John Warner in the 1990s. In 2007, Walters dated Pulitzer Prize-winning gerontologist Robert Neil Butler.

In 2010, Walters took six months off from "The View" and "Here's Barbara," her Sirius XM show, to recover from open heart surgery; she had been suffering from aortic valve stenosis, and a faulty aortic valve needed to be replaced. The surgery was a success, and Barbara returned to both jobs in September. She retired from both shows in 2014.

Barbara Walters passed away in her home in Manhattan on December 30, 2022, at the age of 93, after suffering from dementia in her later years.

Awards and Honors

During her impressive career, Walters has been honored with many awards, including the Overseas Press Club's highest award, the President's Award, the Lowell Thomas Award for a career in journalism excellence, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Women's Media Foundation, and the Muse Award from New York Women in Film and Television. She has also won a Primetime Emmy Award, 3 Daytime Emmy Awards (as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000), 7 News and Documentary Emmy Awards, a GLAAD Media Award, and a Television Critics Association Award. Barbara was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 1989 and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007 and "TV Guide" listed her at #34 on their 1996 "50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time" list.

In January 2023, ABC aired the special "Our Barbara" as a tribute to the late broadcaster.

NYC Mansion

For three decades up til her death, Barbara Walters lived in a co-op NYC building located at 944 Fifth Avenue. Her apartment was an 11-room unit, including a library, formal dining room, dressing room, and large living room that directly overlooks Central Park. Barbara's estate listed her longtime apartment for sale in April 2023 for $19.75 million. The asking price was lowered to $17 million in early 2024.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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